Fendi occupies an interesting position in the creative galaxy of Karl Lagerfeld. A fur and leather house at its core, in Lagerfeld’s hands it can move between crafty and futuristic.
In that respect, it was fitting that the designer set his spring runway under a ceiling hung with gray floating globes, one of which burst at the end of the runway to cue the first look. What followed was a crystal clear vision of dynamic sportswear, not plain but crisp in its approachability, which did not come at the expense of craft.
Lagerfeld made quick work of his resources with sharp shirts and skirts cut from leather. Notes of Cubism and the Bauhaus were prevalent in the early part of the show, where angular, color-blocked panels framed the looks. Shirtdresses were abundant, playing into the season’s trend, and came in fresh, chalky color combinations and treatments that ranged from shaved fur to short, bouncy fringe. A pink leather style with a drawstring waist, for example, had a stiff white collar and a black strip down the front and around the hem and exterior pockets that hung from the hips, bringing to mind a utility belt.
Eventually, the graphic geometrics softened into a powdery print that looked like a gentle explosion: “The Big Bang,” as Lagerfeld called it backstage. “There are enough flower prints around.” The pattern resembled a sophisticated tie-dye on a relaxed, sleeveless dress and a very fanciful fur jacket that was fitted and shorn up top and descended into longer, more elaborately colored fur.
The collection had a playful, upbeat energy — most potent in the accessories. Silvia Fendi stripped the house signatures — the Baguette, Mama, Peekaboo and Toujours bags — of metal components in favor of bright, pop treatments. Baguettes came without handles, covered in multicolored buttons and precise rows of rounded studs that looked like Candy Dots. Some of them were accompanied by mini dicelike cubes that dangled on the side like luxe good-luck charms.